Government set to make housing demolition more difficult – The Post

Government set to make housing demolition more difficult

All suitable housing will now be used to house refugees instead.

Exceptions will be made for properties in danger of collapse and those with severe mould infestations (photo: iStock)
February 19th, 2016 8:46 am| by Shifa Rahaman

The government is all set to roll out new laws that will make tearing down public housing more difficult for housing companies.

The companies, which so far have had a relatively easy time obtaining the permits needed to demolish housing that has proved difficult to rent out, will now be asked to use the properties to help house refugees instead.

Pressure from refugee flows
The minister for immigration and integration, Inger Støjberg, announced the measures on her ministry’s website.

“We’re in a situation where the country’s municipalities are under enormous pressure from refugee flows. It therefore makes no sense that, on the one hand, we’re looking for places to house refugees while demolishing properties refugees can live in with the other,” she said.

However, she was also careful to note that demolitions would be allowed if there were indications the properties in question would not be able to be rented out.

“We must not stop a demolition without the assurance that the homes can actually be rented again. I am quite aware it is expensive for housing associations when homes remain empty,” she said.

Exceptions will be made in certain cases – for example, if the properties have bad mould infestations or are in danger of collapsing. Exceptions will also be made for properties that are being demolished to aid the improvement of the country’s 25 marginalised and troubled areas.

The Housing Ministry has suspended over 700 demolition permits since the beginning of this year.